The church for the deaf in ICS is not quite a decade old. Nevertheless, it is an inspiring story of God ?s enduring wisdom, love, and patience . ICS started a modest effort to reach out to the deaf back in the year 2000. Rev. Ellen Castillo, then and now, president of the AG-run Bible Institute for the Deaf, shepherded the small group of deaf members and interpreted for them at the regular Sunday services. Today, eight years later, the deaf church in ICS is alive and well.
As interest in the group grew, Rev. Castillo started a series of training sessions on sign language for the hearing members of ICS. Several people from the Women ?s, Men?s and even the Youth ministries signed up.
Soon after, the leadership of the deaf church was passed on to Pastora Lani de Guzman, a teacher at the Bible Institute for the Deaf (BID). Under her watch, the deaf church continued to reach many more of the deaf and the church grew.
In September 2002, Pastora Lani started another training series on sign language. Several individuals from the earlier training attended for refresher and many more new participants joined. The people who constitute the core of interpreters that ICS now has are graduates of this series.
In 2005, the leadership mantel was passed on once more, this time resting on the shoulders of Ptr. Rommel and Ptra. Bernadette Infanta, on whom it remains to this day.
The ICS deaf church is currently tending to a regular membership of about thirty souls and is working hard to reach out to even more.
They do have two special wishes. Firstly, they would like to interact more with the hearing members of ICS. Also, they would like to be more active in the other ministries of ICS. They realize that language, or the ability to communicate through sign language, is still a major hurdle. Perhaps, those of us who are hearing can help by learning to sign.